Marine News from the Great Lakes

RECIPE: Beef & Banana Curry

Published: Friday, November 10, 2017
By: Carolyn Shearlock, and co-author of The Boat Galley Cookbook

Meeting people and trying foods from all over is a fun part of cruising. Dave and I enjoy trying local specialities as we go from place to place, as well as picking up new recipes from other cruisers. Over the years, we've learned to make a number of dishes from the people we've met.

It usually starts with a casual conversation at happy hour. “You mean you've never had _____? Come on over tomorrow and I'll show you how to make it.”

Fun is had, a great meal prepared, and recipes are swapped. That was how we first had Beef & Banana Curry. We loved the spicy-sweet flavor. And every time I make it, we think about about our friends who introduced us to curry.

On a cool day, Beef & Banana Curry will warm up the cabin as it cooks and you as well when it's meal time. It freezes beautifully as a make-ahead meal (and you can freeze cooked rice in a separate container, too), but don't add the bananas and cashews until you heat it up to serve.

Beef & Banana Curry

Time: 2-1/2 hours, approximately
Serves: 4

  • 1 pound chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 1” cubes 
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic OR 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 cans (16 ounces each) diced tomatoes, not drained
  • 1-1/2 cup raisins
  • 4 teaspoons curry powder, or to taste*
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 bananas, sliced
  • 1 cup cashews or walnuts
  • 4 servings cooked rice

*Curry powder varies considerably in spiciness and heat. If you are not sure how hot yours may be, or prefer a milder flavor, start with 1 teaspoon and gradually increase to taste.

  1. Lightly brown the meat, onion, and garlic in the oil over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the tomatoes, raisins, curry powder, salt, and pepper. Stir to mix, then simmer for about 2 hours until meat is tender. Stir occasionally and add a bit of water if the mixture gets dry (it should be about the consistency of chili). If freezing, do so at this point. While curry is cooking, prepare rice.
  3. Mix bananas in and cook 15 minutes to heat through. Serve over rice and garnish with cashews.

Use ground beef, ground turkey or boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut in 1” cubes instead of chuck roast. Reduce simmer time to 30 to 45 minutes.

Author bio: Carolyn Shearlock is the author (with Jan Irons) of The Boat Galley Cookbook with over 800 boat-friendly recipes. Her website,, has hundreds of galley and provisioning tips, insights, and equipment recommendations.

tags: Recipes

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